You may have noticed a change to your TV lineup earlier this month. On January 1, NBC parted ways with its long-time Boston area affiliate WHDH-TV Channel 7 and moved its programming to a new station called NBC Boston. All of NBC’s programs, including The Today Show, The Voice and Sunday Night Football have moved to the new station owned and operated by the network.
There hasn’t been a major change like this for a network affiliate in Boston for 20 years. So what gives? As always, follow the money. NBC is owned by cable conglomerate Comcast. Comcast knows that it’s more profitable to own and operate networks than to rent signals. Therefore, when the contract with WHDH expired at the end of December 2016, they decided not to renew it.
However, NBC Boston doesn’t yet have its own TV signal. There simply aren’t any available to buy at present. So without the WHDH signal, NBC Boston had to look to a few smaller signals and combine them. Therefore, you can now find NBC Boston on New Hampshire’s WNEU, and Boston stations WMFP and WBTS.
Programming will lean more toward news and NBC Boston is adding newscasts throughout the day, including a new one at 9 p.m.
What this means for PR pros in the Boston area is more opportunities for story placements, and a number of fresh faces to pitch to, as several new hires have been made to change the face of NBC Boston and beef up the investigative and news teams.
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